Skip to Content

Policies

Find VA policies on privacy and patient rights, family rights, visitation, and more.

Privacy and patient rights

Read VA's national privacy and patient rights policies

Family rights

Read VA's national family rights policy

Visitation policy

Visitation policy as of April 6, 2022

Before visiting a patient at a VA facility, review these guidelines: 

 

Inpatient Units (Does not apply to Community Living Center (CLC), the CLC will continue to follow current VHA Guidance):

 

While we will continue to monitor both COVID rates in the community and vaccine deployment, family members may now start visiting inpatients.

1.  Steps for visitors:

           a.)  Visitors will be allowed into the facility 24/7.

           b.)  All Visitors will be screened for signs and symptoms of COVID as they come into the facility and are required to wear a mask.

           c.)  Two visitors are allowed in the patient room at any one time.        

2.  Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and guidance on putting on/taking off is to be provided for any visitor appropriate to the patient’s current isolation status. A face mask and shield can be provided to the family member if needed. Please remember to follow hand hygiene guidelines, always wash your hands before and after entering the patient’s room.

3.  When multiple family members visit in areas such as critical care, they should not congregate in waiting areas in numbers that do not allow for proper social distancing and safety. VA Employees may ask family members to take turns coming into facility to visit family members so that social distancing requirements are maintained.

 

Outpatients Clinics:

1.  When Veterans arrive for outpatient appointments, we are asking that they be accompanied by no more than one other adult support person.

2.  In instances when a family member is needed to assist the Veteran, for either mental or physical limitations, the family member may stay with the Veteran.

3.  In general, Veterans should refrain from bringing children into the medical center to help reduce infection control risk.   Exceptions to this guidance can be made on a case-by-case basis depending on circumstances (e.g. Nursing mother, inability to obtain childcare).

4.  The family member remaining with the Veteran will need to use appropriate personal protective measures, including a facemask, and follow the guidance of VA staff.

 

Procedural Care Units:

1.  Veterans can have 1 family member accompany them to their visit in the procedural areas. (Families are still encouraged to wait outside of the facility while a Veteran is having a procedure and only visit to transport the Veteran home or receive directions on providing post-procedural care.)

 

Security 

The Cincinnati VA Medical Center police officers provide patrols of the facility and parking lots. For general police assistance, please dial 513-475-6591.

Report all suspicious or criminal activity, vehicle accidents, and personal property losses to the VA Police while on the facility grounds as soon as possible.

Because the VA Healthcare System is federal property, all persons and bags are subject to search. In addition, no weapons, alcohol, or illegal drugs are permitted.

 

VA general visitation policy

The medical center respects the patient's right to make decisions about his or her care, treatment and services, and to involve the patient's family in care, treatment, and services decisions to the extent permitted by the patient or surrogate decision-maker. 

"Family" is defined as a group of two or more persons united by blood, or adoptive, marital, domestic partnership, or other legal ties. The family may also be a person or persons not legally related to the individual (such as significant other, friend or caregiver) whom the individual considers to be family. A family member may be the surrogate decision-maker, as defined in VHA Handbook 1004.02, if authorized to make care decisions for the individual, should he or she lose decision-making capacity or choose to delegate decision making to another. The medical center allows a family member, friend or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of their stay. The medical center allows for the presence of a support individual of the patient's choice, unless the individual's presence infringes on others’ rights or safety, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. The individual may or may not be the patient's surrogate decision-maker or legally authorized representative. 

The hospital prohibits discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.

VA general visitation policy

The medical center respects the patient's right to make decisions about his or her care, treatment and services, and to involve the patient's family in care, treatment, and services decisions to the extent permitted by the patient or surrogate decision-maker. 

"Family" is defined as a group of two or more persons united by blood, or adoptive, marital, domestic partnership, or other legal ties. The family may also be a person or persons not legally related to the individual (such as significant other, friend or caregiver) whom the individual considers to be family. A family member may be the surrogate decision-maker, as defined in VHA Handbook 1004.02, if authorized to make care decisions for the individual, should he or she lose decision-making capacity or choose to delegate decision making to another. 

The medical center allows a family member, friend or other individual to be present with the patient for emotional support during the course of their stay. The medical center allows for the presence of a support individual of the patient's choice, unless the individual's presence infringes on others’ rights or safety, or is medically or therapeutically contraindicated. The individual may or may not be the patient's surrogate decision-maker or legally authorized representative. 

The hospital prohibits discrimination based on age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture, language, physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression.

Advance directives

When faced with difficult decisions about health care, you may struggle with the question of "what should be done?" These resources can help you deal with tough decisions about health care and how to plan for it.

Health Care Ethics Resources for Veterans, Patients, and Families

VA Form 10-0137 - VA Advance Directive: Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care and Living Will

What You Should Know about Advance Directives

Report patient quality of care concerns

Visit the Joint Commission page to report concerns you have about the quality of patient care.